125: Making 'The Interstate’s Forgotten Code'


00:00:00   There's a new Grey video! There is! Congratulations! Thank you! The wanderer has returned! Yeah, it's an

00:00:06   actual real animated video! I was thinking about this because I was trying to put it in your terms

00:00:14   for these things, you know, and I was I wanted to to say like what was the last one? Like the actual

00:00:20   real full last what you would consider regular video? Uh yeah, it's whenever Tiffany was, that was

00:00:27   like the last real video. The follow-up to that video, you don't class as one of these because it

00:00:33   was also gray in the real world a bit, right? Yeah, this is where I have my completely nonsense

00:00:40   categories that mean nothing to anyone else. I'm even getting confused. The way I'm trying to work

00:00:45   this out is by looking at the thumbnails on your YouTube page, but there isn't consistency to those

00:00:53   even. I have a very clear system for differences that nobody cares about. There's "real" videos,

00:01:00   which have the little side banner with the grey logo, that is the grey version of the grey logo.

00:01:07   There's "grey goes outside" videos, which have the green version of the grey logo,

00:01:13   but in my head those aren't "real" videos, even when in the case like with the testing Tesla video

00:01:20   where I spend as much time on a "gray goes outside" video as I would on a real video.

00:01:24   And then there's the videos that don't get a sidebar, which I categorize as "light gray"

00:01:32   videos. Those are like extra videos. Those are also not real videos, even though like with

00:01:39   "Someone Dead Ruined My Life Again," where they might take four times as much effort as a real

00:01:46   video so this categorization system makes a lot of sense.

00:01:49   I think you need another category.

00:01:51   What other category do I need?

00:01:52   So like a category that would include Someone Dead Ruin My Life Again.

00:01:56   That's a light grey video.

00:01:57   But it doesn't have a like a sidebar thing.

00:02:00   Right, that's how you know it's a light grey video.

00:02:02   But that and the like uncut Tesla self-driving Bay are on urban roads, they are completely

00:02:08   different.

00:02:09   No, that those it's all extra stuff Myke, those are all the same sorts of things, right?

00:02:14   that someone dead video took ages to make. And the uncut Tesla self-dry, it's just like,

00:02:20   you just, that didn't do any work on that, surely.

00:02:22   Look, the category of light grey videos is very clear. I created that category for some

00:02:29   light and easy to make videos, and now I also put stuff like someone dead ruined my life.

00:02:34   Right, exactly. So I think the light grey thing is fine, of like, this is additional

00:02:39   But then like there is another... I don't know why someone dead ruined my life again isn't a "Gory Goes Outside" video.

00:02:46   Well, I didn't go outside.

00:02:47   Yeah, you did. You're in the library and stuff in that one, right?

00:02:50   Oh, I mean, okay. Yeah, I guess I did go outside. It doesn't feel like it.

00:02:55   [Laughter]

00:02:57   Because I would also argue that "Sharks" is in the wrong category.

00:03:00   You put that as a "Gory Goes Outside" video and I don't think it is. I think it should be a regular video.

00:03:05   Okay, you have raised an excellent point here because

00:03:08   Sharks I have categorized as Grey Goes Outside because I found the sharks outside.

00:03:15   [laughter]

00:03:19   It's like, "Oh, but the entire interstate highway system of America, that's definitely inside that one."

00:03:27   Well no, but okay, that one's clear. That one's really- that one's all animated, right? That's different.

00:03:31   But I'm realizing, as you say it, it never occurred to me that Someone Dead Ruined My Life should be a Grey Goes Outside video,

00:03:38   Because that's ridiculous, that's not a Greygoes outside video, but I 100% spent more time outside of my office

00:03:48   working on the "Someone Dead Ruined My Life Again" video than I did for the sharks video.

00:03:53   See, because my argument is both Someone Dead and Sharks, they should be regular videos.

00:03:59   Mhm.

00:04:00   Because they are so different to the vlog videos that you've done, that like, I don't think that they—

00:04:07   Not that I'm saying anything bad about your whole vlog videos, but I think you are doing those videos a disservice in your mind by thinking of them that way.

00:04:15   Because I also think it would... Let's imagine you as a person who tracks everything.

00:04:20   Like if you tracked those videos as Grey goes outside, it completely tips the scale, I think, of what those videos should be.

00:04:28   Like the Tesla one being a... The two Tesla ones you've done really being outliers.

00:04:32   They both took way longer than they should have.

00:04:34   But your other ones, like your escape from lockdown or the video when you got vaccinated,

00:04:38   like they no way took tons and tons and tons of time because they're simpler.

00:04:45   So then like sharks and someone dead, they took, must have taken ages because they had

00:04:50   a little animation stuff in them.

00:04:52   Yeah, yeah.

00:04:53   No, they took forever.

00:04:54   So they don't feel like Grey goes outside.

00:04:57   Also I found another category.

00:04:58   Well, I know there's the game one.

00:04:59   I'm talking about that.

00:05:00   There's one that's blue.

00:05:01   What's the blue one?

00:05:02   Oh, the blue is Q&A videos.

00:05:04   - Right, okay.

00:05:05   Well, but thinking about, is thinking about lockdowns,

00:05:08   is that a Q&A video?

00:05:10   - The problem with the Q&A that's thinking about lockdowns

00:05:13   is the reason it's 13 minutes long is that 100%

00:05:17   should have been two videos,

00:05:19   because that one starts with like six minutes

00:05:22   of just actually what the title is.

00:05:25   It's like, oh, here's how to think about lockdowns

00:05:27   in a general way.

00:05:28   And then it just segues into a Q&A for no reason.

00:05:31   So that video is one of those things in retrospect,

00:05:34   you look at it as like the person who made it and you go, "Why did I put those two together?"

00:05:40   It's because I was making them at the same, like I was writing this as one big script

00:05:44   and the section at the start just kept getting bigger and bigger.

00:05:47   I totally should have cut that into two.

00:05:49   But no, the blue one, that's blue because thinking about lockdowns is a Q&A video, even

00:05:55   though you don't find out until six minutes in, so.

00:05:59   Spaceship U has no categorization on its thumbnail.

00:06:03   - Yeah, I put that as an extra video.

00:06:05   That's a light gray video.

00:06:06   - What?

00:06:07   What are you talking about?

00:06:09   Oh man.

00:06:10   - I don't know, it just feels like it's a light gray video.

00:06:12   Look, I'm not saying that this categorization system

00:06:15   has some real solid borders here.

00:06:17   - You couldn't say that.

00:06:19   How machines learn, the bar is on the other side,

00:06:22   some, and why die, the little gray logo

00:06:25   is on the other side of the,

00:06:26   I was not expecting to review the thumbnails

00:06:28   your channel today, but now I'm fascinated by it.

00:06:31   This is actually one of these things I am shocked I don't get a thousand comments

00:06:35   about this all the time about moving the logo and it's one of these things I just thought

00:06:39   everyone would notice and lose their minds that I swap sides but basically no one has

00:06:44   ever commented on it.

00:06:45   I found another category.

00:06:46   Okay.

00:06:47   Lord of the Rings.

00:06:48   It's just gold.

00:06:50   You've just made the logo gold in those ones.

00:06:52   Yeah that's just to match the Lord of the Rings.

00:06:54   I know, but it's funny, but now we have another category now. We have a Lord of the Rings

00:06:58   category.

00:06:59   Yeah, that's not a separate category, that's the main Grey Explains video. I don't need

00:07:04   to justify my thumbnails to you. But I kind of do.

00:07:07   I think we need to know, we started it. But I do consider Lord of the Rings its own category

00:07:12   now though. So there's Grey, light grey, Grey grows outside, Lord of the Rings.

00:07:18   I'm gonna assume, by the way, you have not watched and will not watch the trailer for

00:07:22   the Lord of the Rings show.

00:07:24   I have no interest in that show.

00:07:26   That show is doomed from the moment it was conceived.

00:07:29   - I have a big problem with the trailer.

00:07:31   - Okay, what's your problem with the trailer?

00:07:33   - It's like a semantic thing,

00:07:35   where they're trying to make it like it's this cool,

00:07:36   smart thing that they're doing,

00:07:38   but really it makes no sense to me.

00:07:40   So they're showing a bunch of footage or whatever.

00:07:42   This is before the fellowship, before the king.

00:07:47   - That doesn't make any sense.

00:07:48   - Before the ring.

00:07:49   - So there's a lot of kings

00:07:51   in the Lord of the Rings universe.

00:07:53   It wasn't just the one.

00:07:54   It's not like Before the Ring.

00:07:56   The show is about the rings.

00:07:57   Like that's the whole thing, right?

00:08:00   So it's quote before, but like this show is called

00:08:03   The Rings of Power.

00:08:05   So sure, maybe they didn't make the ring yet or whatever,

00:08:07   but obviously the, anyway, they're just trying to make it

00:08:10   seem like before the three movies,

00:08:12   but I think it just sounds so stupid, right?

00:08:15   Before the Ring, The Lord of the Rings.

00:08:17   It's like, well, what are they the Lord of

00:08:19   if there are no rings?

00:08:20   Yeah, I mean--

00:08:21   I understand, like I get it, right?

00:08:24   Like it's, I'm sure this is set before the rings were even a thing, but then it's just

00:08:28   funny to call it the Lord of the Rings then, isn't it?

00:08:30   Which I think inherently is maybe the concern you have over it, which is like, they actually

00:08:36   can't tell any of the stories that anybody loves, I guess, because they can't use,

00:08:41   Amazon are not allowed to use any of the characters.

00:08:43   Yeah, I look at the original Lord of the Rings movies as just a miracle of adapting a completely

00:08:49   unadaptable work. Forever in my mind, the original Lord of the Rings trilogy wins. Best

00:08:55   adaptation of an unadaptable book. But when I heard that Amazon was spending a hundred

00:09:01   billion dollars to adapt some but not all of the Cimarillion, I was like, "Boy, you've

00:09:09   lost before you started. I don't need to know any more information then. Oh, we're

00:09:14   gonna make a TV show out of the Cimarillion. Okay, I hope you don't spend a lot of money

00:09:18   on it.

00:09:19   Oh.

00:09:20   In all seriousness, I don't know if you know the number, but they paid $250 million for

00:09:26   the rights.

00:09:27   Oh my god.

00:09:28   And then $465 million for the first season is what it cost to make.

00:09:32   So they're up to $715 million spent so far.

00:09:37   I haven't been following it.

00:09:38   It's impossible to spend...

00:09:40   There's no...

00:09:41   Surely there is no expectation of any return on that money, right?

00:09:47   I don't know.

00:09:48   think look my opinion with any of this kind of stuff is hey you want to make a great movie you

00:09:55   want to make a great tv show you know what the most important part of this is the writing of it

00:10:01   that's the critical thing is spend some time on the scripts and lord of the rings falls into the

00:10:09   same category as my head as when apple announced they were going to also spend a hundred billion

00:10:14   dollars on Foundation and as soon as I heard that it was the same thing of like, "Oh,

00:10:20   you've lost before you've begun. You're going to try to adapt the Foundation stories?

00:10:25   Good luck with that." And then I watched one episode of that TV show and was like,

00:10:29   "Yep, it's totally failed."

00:10:31   Yeah, I didn't see that one, yep. You know, I've never seen The Lord of the Rings.

00:10:34   Oh yeah? I don't know if I recommend it. I like it.

00:10:37   I think you more than like The Lord of the Rings.

00:10:39   Oh yeah, no, no. I guess what I mean here is I'm just saying I actually just had the

00:10:43   same thing where I just watched Dune quite recently and had the same sort of feeling of,

00:10:47   "Oh, I really enjoyed that." I cannot experience it as a movie. I can only experience it as an

00:10:54   adaptation. So it makes it impossible for me to give a general recommendation. And it's the same

00:11:01   with Lord of the Rings. It's like, "Oh, I love those movies. Can I recommend them? I don't know.

00:11:05   I just can't perceive them as anything other than an adaptation. And I just don't know how they work

00:11:10   for someone unfamiliar with the source material.

00:11:13   Anyway, I recommend people watch my Lord of the Rings videos rather than watching the

00:11:21   Lord of the Rings Amazon show.

00:11:23   What you're saying is Amazon should give you $715 million.

00:11:27   Yes, and I can promise them I will make one more video.

00:11:33   I think it would be a better investment.

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00:13:25   - So yes, the last time I had a video

00:13:28   that had the proper sidebar badge on it is six months ago.

00:13:33   So yeah, it's been a while since the main one,

00:13:36   but it's up, it's doing well, people seem to like it.

00:13:38   - It's doing really well.

00:13:39   - Yeah, you never know what kind of reaction

00:13:41   you're gonna get from these videos.

00:13:43   It's always one of those things of like,

00:13:44   oh God, hold your breath, upload it,

00:13:47   see if people like it,

00:13:48   but it's been pretty positively received,

00:13:50   people seem happy in the comments, so yeah.

00:13:53   It only took half a year.

00:13:56   Well, it also took a great occasion too, right?

00:13:58   Yeah.

00:13:58   So behind the scenes for the production of this, I'd mentioned in the last few

00:14:02   episodes, how I felt really tapped out, particularly over the holidays and was

00:14:07   just, I was just having a hard time kind of getting back into the actual flow of

00:14:11   work.

00:14:11   And so I did make the decision at the end of January.

00:14:15   I'm like, okay, it's time to play the winning card here of I'm going to go on

00:14:21   a great occasion in case of emergency.

00:14:23   Break glass.

00:14:23   Yeah.

00:14:24   Of course, now my whole brain is just filled with magic metaphors, so I'm like,

00:14:28   "What would be the casting cost of Gracation, and what would that card do?"

00:14:31   Your tweets are absolutely nonsensical.

00:14:35   Like, every now and then, to me, it looks like you've been hacked now.

00:14:40   Because you say this stuff.

00:14:42   Let me get an example of this.

00:14:44   Legendary artifact creature equipment jellyfish.

00:14:47   Yeah.

00:14:47   I saw you tweet this the other day, I was like, "What the f***? What is that?"

00:14:53   And then I looked in the replies and was like, "Oh, it's magic. Okay."

00:14:57   So yeah, everything is like magic metaphors in my brain now. So I was like, "Oh yeah, play

00:15:02   Gracation. What would that be? Like three blue and a white, take an extra turn, something like that?

00:15:08   I don't know.

00:15:08   Oh yeah, I'm all right.

00:15:09   Anyway, I'm not gonna do this. I'll let people in the comments come up with what would Gracation

00:15:13   be as a card. But yeah, this is always my just basically always works trick. And I felt like

00:15:21   I'm just having too much of a hard time getting back into a good rhythm of work.

00:15:25   I was just being too inconsistent about it and just very frustrated.

00:15:28   And so, yeah, I ended up taking a great vacation.

00:15:32   It was a very funny one for me because I actually just stayed in London.

00:15:37   It was the first time I've done this since back when I was a teacher.

00:15:41   But yeah, I just picked a hotel in a different spot in the city and went

00:15:47   there for 10, 12 days in the end.

00:15:51   And yeah, this is my...

00:15:52   Okay, you arrive, and the trick is to sort of show up with a particular mindset of

00:16:00   "This is serious time, Brain. Look, you can see how serious we are,

00:16:04   because we're in a different location. We've gone through a minor pain in the butt of packing up,

00:16:11   and traveling, and going to this spot, and now we're going to stay in this room,

00:16:17   and I know you want to wander all over the place, Brain, but that's not gonna happen.

00:16:23   We're just in this room, we've brought our nice keyboard, I've set up like a weird standing desk

00:16:29   situation, and this is what we're gonna do. We're just gonna work on this stuff.

00:16:33   And yeah, it's extreme, but I always find like these are just the absolute most productive

00:16:39   times for me is when I really kind of seal off in this. And like this time it's also really good to

00:16:46   reboot and just get back into the proper habit of working.

00:16:51   And with this video in particular, there was one problem that I was having, which was

00:16:55   I've rarely had a video where getting the audio right was just so hard.

00:17:03   And personally, this is my least favorite part of making all of the videos, is recording the audio.

00:17:09   It's the one time in the process where I feel a huge resistance,

00:17:15   like I just never want to record the final audio. Part of that is because it's like,

00:17:20   well now it's actually locked in. You can't make any changes. This is just the way the

00:17:24   video is going to have to be. And part of it is, I just hate it and I find it really hard.

00:17:31   But with this one, my final count was I did three recordings, each of which were

00:17:39   three takes. So it took a total of nine takes before I got audio that I liked, and the final

00:17:46   version that went up on the YouTube channel was a combination of the last three takes. On average,

00:17:52   the number of takes I have to do for videos has slowly gone down over the years, but this was just

00:17:56   like a sudden explosion in "oh it's all wrong." And part of it is also in the process of making

00:18:01   these videos, I do a rough audio first that we do rough animations to to try to just spot if

00:18:07   if there's any problems in the script.

00:18:10   And even the rough audio, I was like, "Oh god, I hate it.

00:18:13   I hate it so much.

00:18:14   It's just not working at all."

00:18:15   Anyway, the trick that I figured out with this one was...

00:18:18   So if you've watched a bunch of my videos, you'll know that there is a wide range of

00:18:24   the speed of how fast I talk.

00:18:27   And my general rule here is that if I'm talking very fast, it's because the viewer doesn't

00:18:33   need to follow the details.

00:18:34   I'm just trying to give an overview of, "Oh look, this stuff is really complicated.

00:18:39   You don't need to know all the details, it's fine, we're just going to quickly blast through

00:18:44   it."

00:18:45   And that's what talking fast is to the listener.

00:18:47   It's like an indication of, "You're not supposed to remember all these details."

00:18:50   What I realized afterwards what the problem was is I thought that this video was a fast

00:18:57   talking video.

00:18:58   And it's partly because I thought, "This isn't actually like a huge topic, this is fairly

00:19:03   constrained as topics go. So when I would record the audio and it was long, I'd go,

00:19:09   "Oh, I shouldn't have this 10 minute audio thing here. I should talk way faster. Like

00:19:13   this should be a six minute video." And so I would, basically the first takes that I

00:19:18   did, the first six were all too fast. And I realized afterwards, "No, it does need to

00:19:24   be slow." Because even though this is a video which is sort of talking about the system

00:19:28   is complicated, I think I didn't realize for a bit, "Oh, the first 80% of this, I really

00:19:35   do want the listener to follow all the details." Like, yes, there's a lot of stuff, but I was

00:19:40   just going through it too fast, so I ended up slowing down my narration by about 30%

00:19:46   for the last few takes. Oh, okay, this is way better. Like, I don't know why I had it

00:19:50   in my head that this should have been a much shorter video and should have been a much

00:19:54   faster video. This one, the viewer actually can follow what's happening in the first 80%

00:19:58   sense but that ate up a bunch of my greatcation time was just forcing myself to do the recordings

00:20:06   and then also edit them together which is really time consuming and then have to make the decision

00:20:13   at the end of each sort of two-day period of like "oh I just don't think this audio is good enough"

00:20:19   and then do it again and then do it again before I finally got the final audio so yeah sometimes

00:20:25   you just really need to force yourself into a situation where you're gonna do the work,

00:20:29   and this was definitely necessary this time.

00:20:31   - There's a lot of information in this one.

00:20:33   - Yeah, that's why the fast talking just didn't work as much,

00:20:37   and I just don't know why I thought that it would, but I'm very glad I slowed it down,

00:20:41   and I think it's been well received partly because of that.

00:20:43   I think it would not have been nearly as well liked if I was blasting through at my original pace.

00:20:47   - Do you remember if the version you sent me, was that the final audio,

00:20:51   or did you give it another go after that?

00:20:53   I think I sent you the version with the audio as it currently is. I'm fairly certain about that.

00:20:58   I think it didn't have music, but I can't remember.

00:21:00   It had music. It was too loud. That was my thing.

00:21:03   Oh, right. That's right. You didn't like the music. You thought the music was too loud. Yes.

00:21:06   For me anyway. Maybe it... I don't remember.

00:21:09   Because I found that it was hard to me to keep track of what was going on.

00:21:12   Because it's a lot of information. And also, I mean, I don't know how this... if this video plays differently.

00:21:17   Like, I don't know the basics of any of this. Like, I'm not American.

00:21:22   Like I don't have any institutional knowledge about the interstate highway system.

00:21:28   I do wonder if this video plays differently in different places, maybe more than some

00:21:32   others.

00:21:33   Do you care intrinsically more about this if you're American?

00:21:36   Probably.

00:21:37   Well, so you've actually hit on something in the production process of this, but I'm

00:21:41   kind of curious, I should have asked you at the time, how did this play to you as someone

00:21:46   who is just totally unfamiliar with this?

00:21:49   and until recently has never even driven, right?

00:21:52   Do you have a driver's license yet?

00:21:54   You still don't, right?

00:21:55   - No, no driving license. - Okay, there we go.

00:21:57   - To me, it was kind of like,

00:21:59   I will say this one washed over me a little bit,

00:22:02   where I was like, okay, I thought it was pretty

00:22:05   and I was entertained, but I didn't care about it.

00:22:08   - Yeah, that makes total sense.

00:22:09   - And I can imagine that I maybe have a similar view,

00:22:13   but I bet that you have a lot of listeners in America

00:22:16   who really care.

00:22:18   Like this one seems like one of those videos where there's two types of people.

00:22:22   People that really care and people that don't care.

00:22:25   Cause it's just like this information is not interesting to me to keep in the long run.

00:22:29   But like it was intriguing.

00:22:31   My favorite part about it was just you going through all of the parts

00:22:35   where it didn't make sense.

00:22:36   That's what I liked.

00:22:37   No, that's, that stuff is always fun.

00:22:39   Just looking through the data.

00:22:40   And so about half of the views come from the United States.

00:22:44   Is that any different to other videos?

00:22:46   It's higher, but it's not a lot.

00:22:48   It's I'm just, just quickly glancing around.

00:22:50   It looks like 40% of the videos are normally from the United States.

00:22:54   So it's higher, but it's not crazy higher.

00:22:56   But I've given up guessing with the statistics on YouTube videos of like,

00:23:00   what are videos going to be like?

00:23:01   It doesn't mean anything.

00:23:02   You know what I mean?

00:23:03   It's like, it doesn't mean anything.

00:23:04   Well, okay.

00:23:04   We have that information.

00:23:05   We can draw a conclusion from it, but really.

00:23:07   Yeah.

00:23:09   No, some of them are very funny.

00:23:10   You're like being someone who's not familiar with the interstates is part of

00:23:15   what kind of came up in the process of making this video.

00:23:18   So part of the difficulty of making these kinds of things is,

00:23:22   as always, when the final video goes up,

00:23:25   it always looks really simple.

00:23:28   And that's what's supposed to be the case.

00:23:30   You as the viewer are supposed to watch a video,

00:23:32   and I feel like I succeed

00:23:35   if the impression that people have is a little bit like,

00:23:38   "Oh, that was straightforward and simple

00:23:42   and sort of feeling like it shouldn't have taken him much time to put together that video at all.

00:23:47   Like, I understand why people have that feeling, because that's what the final presentation should be.

00:23:54   Here's a bunch of information. It's all in a nice order.

00:23:58   It's like it goes down nice and smooth, and it wraps up exactly when it's supposed to be.

00:24:03   But as always, before the video was written, when you're just looking at a blank page

00:24:08   and you're trying to write a script about something,

00:24:10   It is not remotely clear at all what even is the video.

00:24:14   And so part of what took a really long time with this one

00:24:18   is exactly this question that sort of you're hitting on is,

00:24:23   I didn't actually describe at any point,

00:24:28   yeah, but what are the interstate highways?

00:24:32   Why are they different?

00:24:33   Why are they a thing of any interest whatsoever?

00:24:36   Like it's just a bunch of roads.

00:24:38   And in my earlier versions of the script, there was a ton of stuff which was setting up.

00:24:45   Yeah, but what are the interstates?

00:24:47   Why are they different?

00:24:48   Why are they worth talking about in the first place?

00:24:50   So why would this numbering system even be something that anybody cares about?

00:24:55   But as the script went on and on and I kept doing more and more revisions,

00:25:00   I kind of cut down that further and further and further and further,

00:25:06   until at some point I made a decision which was,

00:25:09   okay, you know what?

00:25:10   This is a video for people who already know

00:25:14   what the interstates are.

00:25:16   They're already familiar with them.

00:25:17   - I don't think that if you explained it all to me

00:25:20   that I would necessarily have cared any more

00:25:23   about the interstate highway system.

00:25:25   - See, I disagree.

00:25:26   I think I could have made you care more

00:25:28   if I had put more of that stuff in.

00:25:30   - But like I enjoyed, I liked the visuals of this one

00:25:33   and I liked the weirdness part of it.

00:25:36   But what I mean is just think if you would have spent all that time explaining to me the history of the interstate system,

00:25:40   I don't...

00:25:42   It's like two things.

00:25:43   Mm-hmm, yeah.

00:25:44   And I don't think that the second part would have necessarily been enhanced by the first part for me.

00:25:49   This is why it ended up getting split.

00:25:51   Yeah.

00:25:52   Is because I thought, you know what, this just...

00:25:55   This doesn't work in here.

00:25:57   This is the problem when you make stuff, you're like,

00:25:59   you find all of this information that you love or like little facts that you go,

00:26:03   "Oh, that's totally delightful."

00:26:05   There's one piece of information I was just desperately trying to work in

00:26:10   anywhere in the script and it was just completely impossible.

00:26:13   And if you've ever written something, this is something over the years that I

00:26:17   try to keep in mind is like, that's a warning sign.

00:26:20   Like if there's a piece of information that you keep going, like where,

00:26:24   where can I put this in?

00:26:25   The answer is don't put this in.

00:26:28   You personally like it too much.

00:26:31   And it doesn't actually belong in this thing.

00:26:34   It should be easier to put it in if it actually belongs here.

00:26:38   And the little fact is that the interstate highway system was partly

00:26:42   built for the American military.

00:26:44   And so a lot of the specifications about how these roads have to be

00:26:50   relates to what the military wanted.

00:26:53   And one of the things that was in the original specification in, uh, I'm

00:26:58   just doing this off the top of my head.

00:26:59   So the dates might not be exactly right, but like the 1950s, no one

00:27:02   fact checks to show your family.

00:27:04   (laughs)

00:27:05   - Listen, Myke, people love to fact check

00:27:07   everything that I do, so it's just like,

00:27:09   I've got this whole world of people

00:27:11   who like to catch errors, and I totally get it.

00:27:14   But so, the original specifications for the highway was

00:27:18   all of the bridges that go over the interstate

00:27:22   have to have 14 feet of vertical clearance.

00:27:27   And the way they came up with 14 feet

00:27:30   was that was the height necessary to move the,

00:27:33   at the time, intercontinental nuclear ballistic missiles around.

00:27:37   - Oh, good news.

00:27:38   - We need to drive these nuclear missiles around.

00:27:40   We need 14 feet of vertical clearance on all of the bridges.

00:27:43   - You don't want to bump a nuke, do you?

00:27:45   - You don't want to bump a nuke.

00:27:46   That's exactly right.

00:27:48   And so the Department of Transportation, like,

00:27:51   gave all the funding to these local states,

00:27:53   and the project was, like, hugely under development.

00:27:56   And then at some point in, like, 1968,

00:27:59   The military came back and said, "Hey, we've made our nukes way bigger.

00:28:05   We need 17 feet of clearance now on all of the bridges."

00:28:09   And to this day, the United States is still retrofitting a bunch of the

00:28:17   bridges that they built at 14 feet to make them 17 feet to fit the nukes.

00:28:22   It is this enormous project of, "Oh, we built a ton of bridges for 14 feet of

00:28:28   vertical clearance and now we need to make them 17 feet for the bigger nukes that the

00:28:32   military wants to move around. I love that piece of information and I was like I desperately

00:28:37   want to fit this in because it's just funny. You can also kind of imagine it visually as

00:28:42   like the stick figure girls arguing with each other about like but my nukes are bigger like

00:28:46   you need to make your bridges bigger. I had a bunch of stuff about that about like what

00:28:51   is the interstate really like what is this connected to but it all just slowly got cut

00:28:57   over time, but that Nuke one I was like, I was holding on to that one at the bitter end.

00:29:01   I was like, there's got to be a way I could squeeze this in. But the answer is no, don't

00:29:05   do that. Instead, just accept that for some videos, it makes sense to not actually explain

00:29:12   the whole thing. There are just times when you have to recognize, okay, just make the

00:29:16   thing for people who already know about the thing. I have tried for years as a style guide

00:29:22   to work with videos like, assume that the viewer is an intelligent person who just,

00:29:28   for whatever reason, has happened to never come across this topic before. And so like

00:29:34   when I'm writing scripts, I really do try most of the time to think, assume that the

00:29:39   person doesn't know anything at all about this and explain it from the start. But with

00:29:43   this one, I think it made sense as I kept drafting the script to get rid of all of this

00:29:48   other stuff about the interstate and just be like, "You know what? Not every video really

00:29:53   can be for everyone. This works better as a video for people who are already familiar

00:29:58   with this, which would be basically everyone in America where driving on the interstates

00:30:03   is already a big deal part of your life. Everyone knows these roads. There's basically nowhere

00:30:10   in America where you aren't constantly hyper aware of when you are on or are not on the

00:30:18   And it's just like, you can just assume that this is knowledge all Americans have about the interstates

00:30:24   and just run with it. Be like, "Hey, there's a thing about this thing that you probably never knew,

00:30:28   which is that the numbers mean something," and then just purely focus on that part.

00:30:33   And again, I know that all of this stuff sounds really obvious in retrospect once you have seen the video,

00:30:40   but it's hard to explain how it is not obvious at the start

00:30:45   What part is the part that just makes sense to focus on?

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00:33:09   I know that this information exists in a really clear way, I assume, for you to take it and

00:33:18   make a script out of, but I would imagine that the fact checking for this one would

00:33:22   be hard because I feel like this is one where there's lots of little details that people

00:33:29   living in those places know and you have to get it right to be happy.

00:33:36   Is it difficult to get this one nailed down?

00:33:39   - Let me back up just one moment there,

00:33:41   because if you think about this topic,

00:33:44   yeah, you are right.

00:33:45   You can go on the Wikipedia page

00:33:47   about the interstate highway system,

00:33:49   and then there is just a section

00:33:50   which explains the numbering system.

00:33:53   That's relatively straightforward.

00:33:54   - I mean, and there's maps, too.

00:33:55   That's what else I'm thinking, right?

00:33:57   For you to actually get the routes

00:33:59   and where they start and end, right?

00:34:00   You just look at maps.

00:34:01   - Yeah, that exists.

00:34:03   I think part of what I was talking about before

00:34:05   of the "how do you make this go down easy?"

00:34:09   like, "how do you make a video that is easily understandable?"

00:34:12   is, when you're reading something about this numbering system,

00:34:16   you have the advantage of it's much easier to jump back and jump ahead

00:34:21   if you don't understand something.

00:34:23   So you can go like, "Oh, okay, you read this part and you go ahead

00:34:26   and then you realize, 'Oh, I needed something from before'

00:34:29   and then read that bit again."

00:34:31   When you read something, you're reading it less linearly than you think you're reading it.

00:34:35   And so, if you want to make a video that is interesting and also understandable,

00:34:40   you can't just take, "Oh, here's the Wikipedia summary," and basically read it.

00:34:46   Like, I just don't think that makes for a really interesting video.

00:34:49   And you have to figure out, "What order am I explaining this?"

00:34:53   Presuming that someone can't go backwards.

00:34:55   And that's why in this video, it took me a while to break it down into making up

00:35:00   these three categories of interstates of like, oh, there's majors and there's

00:35:03   mediums and there's minors, which don't really exist as official designations

00:35:10   or anything like that's, that's not really a thing.

00:35:12   It's like a category I came up with because I was thinking about constellations

00:35:15   and like Ursa major and Ursa minor.

00:35:17   And it's like, okay, great.

00:35:18   I'm going to go with that.

00:35:19   Right.

00:35:19   Cause we have like this constellation theme.

00:35:22   But that's where it's actually harder to do it in video form than you think of like

00:35:27   What is the order in which you can kind of present this to people so that each thing?

00:35:32   Hopefully builds on the last thing. That's why you start with like here's the big broad ones going east to west

00:35:39   Right, which just even visually is the most clearest like these roads are going across

00:35:43   And then you have these roads going up and down and then you like you jump over to the miners

00:35:50   which then makes sense to say, "Okay, these are the little bits that break off."

00:35:54   And then you can kind of go back to the mediums as like,

00:35:57   "These are the ones that are in the middle."

00:35:59   But even creating these categories helps a listener know,

00:36:04   "We've moved on to a different kind of thing."

00:36:08   Like, it's a little signal, like, "That part is over. Here's the next part.

00:36:12   Hopefully this part builds on it."

00:36:14   So, like, that's part of the trick of it.

00:36:17   it and I think also having, it's not really necessary, but even just having some kind

00:36:25   of additional metaphor like, oh, it's, it's navigations, it's constellations. I think

00:36:31   that does help give your brain something else to hold onto to like pin this explanation

00:36:37   to as, as it exists. So yeah, like there's, there's some tricks that might not be obvious

00:36:41   when you're just watching the video and hopefully it feels like, oh, that was great and that

00:36:45   simple and that was straightforward. And then when you go and read the Wikipedia page you feel like,

00:36:49   "Oh okay, this makes total sense," but you've also now heard it once before. But yeah, fact-checking

00:36:54   this kind of thing is ever since the Ticoi incident, they've definitely tuned up the

00:37:00   fact-checking for sure, but stuff always gets through. When I think about the sort of mistakes

00:37:07   that get through in the videos, I do have a bunch of levels. Like I talked about this in the "CGB

00:37:14   "Oh, there's sort of different ways to categorize what kind of mistakes can there be?"

00:37:20   But even within those categories, I sort of subdivide things.

00:37:24   So there are a few things in this video which I regard as blunders that made it through,

00:37:29   but they're all on a level where it's like, "I think it's fine."

00:37:32   There's typos. Typos to me are the kind of blunders where it's so small, I just, I'm not wildly concerned.

00:37:41   It's like I spell San Francisco wrong at one point in the video.

00:37:44   It's like, that's fine.

00:37:45   I can live with San Francisco having two C's in it.

00:37:48   Wait, but it has two C's.

00:37:51   No, I see what you did.

00:37:52   I see.

00:37:53   No, I didn't put two C's in it in my head.

00:37:55   Did you put a C after the N?

00:37:57   Is that what you did?

00:37:58   There's no S.

00:37:59   It's like San Francisco.

00:38:01   Yeah, San Francisco.

00:38:02   I like that.

00:38:04   Yeah, that's also one of those cases where by the time the video was actually published,

00:38:09   something like a dozen people had seen the video and exactly zero people had spotted that

00:38:15   San Francisco was typed wrong, including me and everyone working on the video and everyone else

00:38:19   I showed it to. So it's like, that's fine. I can live with that. The ones that are not so obvious

00:38:26   for people is pronunciation errors. There's a couple of places where I just pronounce the name

00:38:31   wrong. And this is one that is always frustrating because it's also one of these cases where it is,

00:38:38   If you're not from the place, it can be surprisingly hard to try to find what is the

00:38:45   correct local pronunciation of this town name.

00:38:48   I was going on YouTube for some of them trying to find like local news broadcasts from the town.

00:38:53   To be like, how are they saying the name?

00:38:55   But you can end up getting like a bunch of different ones.

00:38:57   And then there's just the actual problem of the performance of it.

00:39:01   Where when you say it, when you're recording it, you can still just mess it up sometimes

00:39:07   and get it wrong.

00:39:08   So I think the worst one in there is I say Penumbra, North Dakota.

00:39:13   I looked at that.

00:39:13   I cannot tell you how many times with listening to the pronunciation guides.

00:39:19   I know that there is no R sound in that town name.

00:39:22   It didn't stop me that every time I said it in all of the recordings, like I said

00:39:28   it wrong in a slightly different way.

00:39:30   And I had to just go with, well, I'm going to take the take.

00:39:33   That's the least wrong take.

00:39:34   It's like, I'm sorry.

00:39:36   PEM... oh god I can't even do it now like Pembina, North Dakota? I'm very sorry that I got you wrong.

00:39:42   I tried, I swear I tried, but it just ended up with an R that doesn't exist there. You're always

00:39:48   going to run up against this kind of local knowledge and yeah it's extremely hard being

00:39:55   on the other side of the world to try to like nail all of that stuff down.

00:39:59   I don't think it makes any difference that you're here rather than there for it being easier.

00:40:04   I guess what I mean is it would be easier if I lived in the town, right?

00:40:07   Well yeah, exactly.

00:40:10   But that's kind of my point of why I thought this one might be tricky is that

00:40:13   there is that exact thing of there are lots of people

00:40:17   that are intimately familiar with the places and the routes that you're talking about.

00:40:22   Like for example, I'm very sure that some of the weird roads that you've mentioned,

00:40:27   if you actually drive them, oh like you say it ends here, but actually there's like a little

00:40:31   where you know like if you're from that area like oh no it's not as simple as that.

00:40:35   This is also like what stuff do you include in the video and what stuff do you don't include in the

00:40:38   video and there's a lot of things that were not included and one of them is that a lot of places

00:40:44   are dual signed so a road will be oh this is actually two interstates at the same time and

00:40:51   then you can you can also run into some weird situations where a route is dual signed in the

00:40:57   sense that this is both of the interstates, but they only have one sign for which interstate

00:41:04   it is there. You can run into an opposite problem where, like I've seen some people

00:41:08   leave comments for like local areas where they go like, "Oh, you said this road is

00:41:13   interstate whatever, but it isn't. It's actually like US Route this." I am aware of

00:41:18   that, but it is because there isn't a sign saying that that is interstate whatever, but

00:41:24   looked it up as like, "Yes, but the state receives federal funds."

00:41:28   So this is even worse, where people think you're wrong.

00:41:32   Actually.

00:41:33   This is the case for...

00:41:37   There's a section where I talk about the interstates in Maryland,

00:41:40   and it's like, I knew this was going to happen,

00:41:41   but I just wasn't going to explain it in the video of saying,

00:41:44   "Oh, Maryland has all of these interstates,"

00:41:46   but people in Maryland going like,

00:41:47   "I don't know what you're talking about.

00:41:48   Like this interstate isn't there."

00:41:50   Yeah, it's because it is a federal interstate,

00:41:53   but it is not locally labeled as such. But I just cannot possibly get into this at this point in

00:42:00   time and discuss all of these things. The other one that has come up sometimes is, I've seen a

00:42:05   few people message me about getting the state highways wrong. In the beginning, I mentioned,

00:42:10   "Oh, there's US routes 50 and 60." And several people have messaged me like, "Haha, you got the

00:42:16   states backward." No, they're in the right order. The US routes go in the opposite direction. They're

00:42:21   numbered top to bottom instead of bottom to top. I just didn't discuss it in the video, which I do

00:42:26   in retrospect think like I probably should have mentioned that, but there's again there's just so

00:42:30   many things like what can you possibly mention. That stuff is fine like I don't mind that but it

00:42:35   is funny where you get people who will correct you about something and you're like "no actually

00:42:40   it is the opposite way but I totally understand why it superficially looks wrong." But then there's

00:42:44   just totally frustrating stuff where you do get something wrong like I have an error in the video

00:42:50   which I think is the worst one, but is also completely understandable when you hear this,

00:42:55   which is that I show the route I-76, which ends in, I say, Belmar, New Jersey. And so on the map,

00:43:04   it shows like, oh, here's I-76 and where it goes in Belmar, New Jersey. But it turns out there's

00:43:10   two towns called Belmar and Bel...

00:43:17   Marrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

00:43:17   "Mar" in New Jersey?

00:43:19   - Wait, can you spell the difference to me?

00:43:21   'Cause that sounded the same.

00:43:23   - One of the towns is Belmar, B-E-L-M-A-R.

00:43:27   The other town is B-E-L-L-M-A-W-R, right?

00:43:32   - Oh, come on, New Jersey, what are you doing?

00:43:35   (laughing)

00:43:37   What is that?

00:43:38   - Right, so that's one of these things where it's like,

00:43:41   yeah, I totally, that is a mistake,

00:43:44   but that is also one of these cases

00:43:46   where it is very understandable that both me and the animator who drew the map and the two

00:43:54   official fact checkers I have checking everything they possibly can in the script,

00:43:58   all of us missed that, but I feel like that's on New Jersey. I'm sorry, you shouldn't have

00:44:04   these two towns. But nonetheless, every time I see that in the future, I'm going to be annoyed

00:44:12   of like, "Oh, god damn it, it's the wrong Belmar." It should have been "Bel-moir," or I don't even know

00:44:19   how to say the second one, but they're on different sides of the state, which is why local people

00:44:23   notice immediately. They're like, "Oh yeah, I-76 doesn't go all the way across New Jersey, it only

00:44:27   goes to the west side in Belmoir." I guess that's what the W is for. It's west for Belmar, west New

00:44:33   Jersey, and Belmoir without the W is east New Jersey. I do have to say on the opposite side,

00:44:39   And what's really fun is when people can add local information that there is just no way

00:44:45   I could have ever possibly found out.

00:44:47   In the video I make a quick reference to the interstate highway splits for I-35, where

00:44:55   it's this one exception where they have east and west branches and no other interstate

00:44:59   does this east-west numbering.

00:45:02   And I could not for the life of me figure out what the reason was and I just kind of

00:45:06   guess and say it in the video like, "Oh, this feels like one of these political situations

00:45:11   where there's two rival cities right next to each other, neither one wants to be the

00:45:17   one that's on the bypass, and so this 100% feels like a political decision of going,

00:45:23   'Fine, we're just gonna do it east and west, and so neither of you is the bypass.'"

00:45:28   Except I've gotten information from people who live in the towns about how they really

00:45:33   know which one is the bypass because the mile markers continue being numbered in the correct

00:45:41   way on one side on either the east side or the west side and the mile number markers

00:45:48   start over on the opposite side.

00:45:51   Aha!

00:45:52   If you're a local you totally know which one is the bypassed city and which one is the

00:45:58   real city.

00:45:59   I really love that, like when people can add information that's like, if I had spent a thousand years researching this script, I would never have come across that piece of information.

00:46:12   But someone living locally can make it more fun.

00:46:15   fun.

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00:48:07   As the years have gone on, there is just a crazy amount of pressure that is very hard

00:48:12   to explain of "you're gonna make a video on a topic.

00:48:19   You're not an expert in that topic, but also you know almost every expert in the world

00:48:26   will end up watching this video, along with potentially a couple of million other people

00:48:33   who will also have random information they can add to the topic."

00:48:37   I just cannot explain what the pressure of that feels like.

00:48:40   Yeah, it seems horrible.

00:48:41   It is something that over the years has definitely increased

00:48:46   and did a big step function increase after the Ticoi incident.

00:48:50   Well, yeah, I mean, this is that thing that I think we've spoken about a lot since then,

00:48:53   which is it's not necessarily my challenge to you,

00:48:56   but it is a point that I bring up, which is like,

00:48:58   you have made it worse for yourself.

00:49:02   Oh, yeah.

00:49:02   in that you refuse to be comfortable

00:49:06   with even the smallest errors.

00:49:08   Because, I mean, going back to Ticoi,

00:49:12   again, it's like you consider that error to have been massive.

00:49:16   99.999999% of the world would not,

00:49:22   like it wasn't really that important for that video

00:49:25   that you said that this place had a different type of rocket

00:49:29   than what it actually had.

00:49:31   So then it's like, as well as the world putting its pressure on you, you put pressure on yourself,

00:49:39   which then makes the world put more pressure on you.

00:49:43   And it just continues from there to like be correct.

00:49:46   But I don't think I would be any different if I was in your shoes because at the point

00:49:53   where you are with the type of stuff that you make videos about, you are right that

00:49:57   like you have to become an expert in everything and that seems horrible

00:50:05   yeah it's a bit different like it's not that i'm an expert right

00:50:15   but i play one on youtube yeah okay yeah there there is some truth to that yeah i'm not an

00:50:20   expert but i play one on youtube is not wrong for those 10 minutes do you have to beat that

00:50:25   Yeah, I think I would rephrase it like, "Oh, I need to become temporarily one of the best

00:50:31   informed laymen on this topic."

00:50:34   And again, not so much with this video, but with other stuff I've worked on and stuff

00:50:38   that I am working on.

00:50:40   There is also this problem, which I think is really not obvious to people, about experts

00:50:46   in the field disagree.

00:50:49   And so one of the skills you have to learn, which is very weird and also very demoralizing

00:50:56   about the whole world is you have to become good at picking which expert do you think

00:51:02   is the reasonable expert in a field where you are not an expert, which can be kind of

00:51:07   crazy making sometimes when people disagree with each other.

00:51:10   That's common sense, right?

00:51:12   I guess is what you're talking about here though.

00:51:15   You're using your gut.

00:51:16   How else would you do it?

00:51:17   - Yeah, I think using your gut is too simple.

00:51:19   I think I have some basic heuristics

00:51:22   that are helpful in this,

00:51:23   but they're a little bit difficult to articulate.

00:51:25   - I don't think you could, even if you tried.

00:51:27   - The best I can do just off the top of my head is

00:51:30   I'm looking for experts who are consistent

00:51:35   across other domains as well.

00:51:40   You're looking for the expert who also doesn't seem to

00:51:45   contradict any of the areas that they're butting up against. Now, of course, that's a recursion

00:51:51   problem of, "Well, how do you know those other areas that they're butting up against are correct?"

00:51:55   [laughter]

00:51:55   B: I'm very aware that's a system that is extremely sensitive to the initial state of

00:52:03   what are you assuming is correct and not correct. So I read a couple books about the interstate

00:52:08   system in preparation for this video, which again, you don't know where you're going to find

00:52:12   interesting stuff ahead of time. You can only know by like reading through the books. And

00:52:17   it can just be a red flag where someone will like mention something about the interstate

00:52:22   and you go like, that just doesn't seem to fit with other things that I think are true.

00:52:27   And then you sort of dig into this and you go, Oh, okay. It's like more complicated than

00:52:31   was portrayed in this book.

00:52:33   That's weird though, right? Do you see the weirdness in that, that you're coming along

00:52:38   and making a piece of content about a certain subject area

00:52:43   that will probably become the most consumed thing

00:52:47   about that subject area.

00:52:48   And there are people that are either considered to be

00:52:51   or consider themselves to be experts,

00:52:53   but then you have to judge them.

00:52:56   - Oh yeah, no, that's, but this is what I mean by like,

00:52:58   like the totally crazy pressure of this.

00:53:01   - As we're laying this out,

00:53:02   I'm like, oh boy, that sounds horrible.

00:53:05   Why do you do this?

00:53:07   You should just make the outside ones.

00:53:09   Forget all this nonsense.

00:53:10   Yes.

00:53:11   So like this is, this is one of the reasons why, you know, the past few

00:53:14   episodes we've been talking about, like thinking about future production

00:53:17   and thinking about a bunch of stuff.

00:53:18   And one of the things that I was going through in my feeling tapped out about

00:53:22   video production was it's like at this point in my writing career as well, like

00:53:27   I had just had, I have a ton of video topics to choose from, lots of which are

00:53:33   20% to 40% complete because I've done like some initial research and

00:53:37   it seems interesting. But the problem is there are so many things that seem interesting and

00:53:45   simple until you ask three questions in a row about that topic. And then you go, "Oh,

00:53:52   this is not as it seems." And it can be just like hugely dispiriting about the world in

00:53:59   trying to think through like, what do you think is true? And what do you think is true

00:54:05   enough that you're willing to say it to like a million people. I think back to when I first

00:54:11   started doing this, it is laughable to me about how relatively carefree and breezy I

00:54:17   was and just how even that old past Grey felt like he was cautious about sources. And even

00:54:26   that old past Grey already knew like, "Oh, well, don't, you know, don't use a newspaper

00:54:30   as a source. That's worse than nothing." Current Grey looks at him and is like, "Oh, kid, you

00:54:35   don't have any idea how bad this is gonna get. Yeah, it's a very strange

00:54:39   situation and so it is one of these areas where lots of topics I feel like

00:54:44   boy if I could lighten up on this I could make lots of topics so much more

00:54:51   easily than I currently can but it's very hard to lighten up on this

00:54:57   and just when videos go out to a big audience like it just it is a pressure

00:55:01   that ends up really like building on itself over time.

00:55:04   I mean I can sympathize with this a little like so I kind of I understand what you're saying

00:55:08   there are things that I say or topics that I've covered where I've ended up thinking oh this is

00:55:15   a good idea and then it comes out that there's like people disagree with it or have like a

00:55:21   difference of opinion or you know there are certain things I know that if I say them I'm

00:55:27   going to get a lot of pushback for it. But this is like just a thing that you

00:55:32   learn over time and it's kind of weird it's like I kind of think of this as

00:55:37   this is a very strange metaphor that I'm trying to build here but okay like a

00:55:42   stone can be eroded over time right so like we are the stones in this and the

00:55:49   erosion is like feedback and it can have two effects where it can either smooth

00:55:55   you to it or it can make things more jagged and so like this is where I'm

00:56:01   saying like sometimes there's like a thing that I know if I want to talk

00:56:04   about this I'm gonna get a lot of feedback on it and like this is me

00:56:08   accepting that and over time like that part is just smoothed out and I'm just

00:56:12   alright fine I understand what's gonna happen here I'm just gonna go for it

00:56:17   there is Geeva gonna be a lot of difference of opinion or on the good

00:56:19   side a lot of people that are agree with me that kind of thing but then

00:56:23   there's like this other part of it where you don't even realize that something

00:56:28   you're about to do which is innocuous to you is going to either be A) wrong and

00:56:33   you're gonna hear about that a lot or B) you think this was just an opinion

00:56:39   that lots of people have but it turns out a lot of people just disagree with

00:56:41   you and that's where it like gets jagged and it's kind of about trying to make

00:56:45   that erosion over time completely smoothed out and that can either be by

00:56:49   accepting things or understanding them fully, correcting them, researching them

00:56:53   over time right and so I have this on like a way smaller degree for a bunch of

00:56:59   reasons like one I don't purport to be an expert in anything. It's actually

00:57:03   kind of my entire career is not being an expert in anything but being interested

00:57:07   in a bunch of things and talking to people who are more experts than me.

00:57:11   So like that part doesn't really bother me if I don't understand it whatever.

00:57:14   Like I'm learning like everybody else.

00:57:17   But also like just the scale of people

00:57:20   that consume my content is so much smaller than yours.

00:57:23   And then also I think the thing that is a benefit for me

00:57:25   is the vast majority of people

00:57:28   that are listening to my shows know me to some degree.

00:57:32   - Yes, yeah.

00:57:33   - And let me off more.

00:57:36   Because they know me, right?

00:57:37   They're like, I say a thing and it's wrong.

00:57:40   And they're like, Myke, you got that wrong.

00:57:41   But it's very rarely like you idiot

00:57:43   because they know me, they know that like,

00:57:46   oh, I said this thing incorrectly or I made a mistake,

00:57:49   that it was a mistake,

00:57:50   they're maybe more willing to accept that.

00:57:52   But you get so many people that watch your YouTube channel,

00:57:55   they don't know you.

00:57:57   And so it's like a whole different thing.

00:58:00   Or like, even if they watch all your videos,

00:58:02   this type of content, like podcasts and stuff,

00:58:04   people get much more of a sense of the person.

00:58:07   And so I think can be kinder in that way.

00:58:11   Where like, even just like people

00:58:12   that have watched your videos for years,

00:58:14   maybe still don't have that much of a sense

00:58:16   of your personality as they would get through

00:58:18   just listening to you talk for an hour or two

00:58:20   once a month, you know?

00:58:21   - Yeah, for sure.

00:58:22   - And so people I think are maybe a bit more,

00:58:24   ah, you're stupid, why did you say this?

00:58:28   So my point is, I feel like I can understand

00:58:30   a little bit what you're talking about,

00:58:32   but I can see how it's way, way harsher.

00:58:35   - It's a thing I've talked to other creators about.

00:58:39   I think anyone who's in the educational field on YouTube, everyone experiences

00:58:44   this to some extent or another, which is you get started in this because you're

00:58:49   really just interested in a bunch of stuff and you want to talk about it.

00:58:53   And like the, the problem is as time goes on.

00:58:57   In a way, I would love to start every video off with, Hey, I've spent

00:59:05   a lot of time researching this.

00:59:07   This is the best version of this that I can do.

00:59:10   But also, you know, like I'm not an expert in the interstate system.

00:59:14   I'm not a transportation engineer.

00:59:17   I am a person who just spends a lot of time on his own reading in a room.

00:59:23   That's what I am.

00:59:24   And like, I try to turn this into an interesting thing for other people to watch.

00:59:28   You can't do that in front of every video.

00:59:30   It's horrifically boring.

00:59:32   It just doesn't work.

00:59:33   There's this phenomenon, like I don't have a good word for this.

00:59:37   people can put on you a level of expertise that you yourself are not claiming.

00:59:44   And the only way to try to push back against that is to constantly remind people that you're

00:59:52   not an expert in a way that I personally find just tedious and annoying and not worth doing.

00:59:57   - I mean, and it also devalues the work that you've done too.

01:00:00   - Yeah, exactly. I think if anyone watches a bunch of educational YouTubers,

01:00:04   you will see people do this. This is the reason why people will in their videos just be like,

01:00:10   "I'm just an idiot who doesn't know anything," right? And they'll just say this and like,

01:00:14   "I hate it. I hate it." When creators do that. But I also understand why creators are doing that,

01:00:21   because they're trying to push back both for the audience and I also think for themselves,

01:00:26   the ever-mounting pressure. - Oh, I think it's vastly weighted

01:00:30   towards the person or the audience and it's not a criticism because I do it.

01:00:34   But it's just like if you constantly get a certain type of feedback like

01:00:39   ultimately it changes you because you want to stop getting that feedback if

01:00:43   you don't like it and this is also in the inverse as well if you keep getting

01:00:47   feedback which is good and you keep doing more of that more people like it.

01:00:51   I just said this is like super you know good problem to have kind of problem

01:00:56   right? Yeah of course. But it's still a tough thing to deal with when creating

01:01:00   content especially at the level that you're at right? Yeah yeah. I mean look I

01:01:04   just did it okay so what I've just done this is an example of the exact thing

01:01:08   that I'm talking about where I feel like if I didn't say this what I just said

01:01:15   people will go "oh nice for you" yeah exactly and that is what that is a

01:01:20   reflex that I have where I feel like I have to say it because of the feedback

01:01:25   back that I would otherwise see of like look at these guys complaining about how

01:01:30   terrible their lives are when they have these dream jobs which we know now I

01:01:36   would love to believe that inherently people understand that in the

01:01:41   conversation most people do I think the vast majority of people do but it tends

01:01:47   to be that there is a minority of people it is the quote unquote vocal minority

01:01:52   who will tell you and will complain to you about you.

01:01:56   And over time, that is like the erosion

01:02:01   where I feel like I can't have a conversation like this

01:02:04   without giving that disclaimer.

01:02:06   - Yeah, there's nothing more frustrating

01:02:08   than listening to someone who issues a disclaimer

01:02:10   before every one of their sentences.

01:02:12   - Because I know, but I just said that.

01:02:14   There are people that are like, "All right, I get it."

01:02:15   Or, "You don't have to say this, I understand.

01:02:18   "I'm not an idiot, I understand."

01:02:20   - Yeah, and you can hear people sometimes

01:02:22   in the public arena get completely consumed by this disease where they issue a disclaimer

01:02:27   in front of every sentence and it makes them just interminable to listen to. And this is

01:02:32   talking about like creating content that I know a younger me would be interested in.

01:02:36   Us having this conversation on this podcast, I think for most listeners, the interesting

01:02:42   part of this is hearing about the actual true behind the scenes. What is it like to be a

01:02:51   person who makes these videos. And this is one of these things that has been very present

01:02:58   in my life, especially since Ticoi, but even without Ticoi it would have happened anyway,

01:03:04   of this gradual ratcheting up of pressure from both inside and outside that can make

01:03:11   projects just way harder. And it's like, yeah, that's totally the byproduct of having

01:03:17   a very successful YouTube channel. But it doesn't change the fact that like, oh, would

01:03:21   Would you like to know what this is like? Here's one of the things that you might not

01:03:25   have considered, that there's this ratchet that just increases over time. This is one

01:03:30   of the things that it's like to do this.

01:03:32   My assumption is, or the assumption that I wish I would remember more, is that the people

01:03:37   listening to this show probably fall into, the vast majority of them fall into a couple

01:03:42   of categories. These are people that do make stuff, or people that want to.

01:03:45   Yeah.

01:03:46   Or people that are just interested in what the life of the people that are content creators.

01:03:51   Sometimes I think it would be easier if I could remember that, but if you've listened

01:03:56   to this conversation and you are an aspiring or starting out content creator, I think the

01:04:03   thing that is important not to take away from this is that you need to be an expert. Do

01:04:09   what we were saying or what Gray was saying he was doing at the beginning where it was

01:04:13   research, but not exhaustive like what he does, right? Because the point is still that

01:04:19   You can do enough when you're starting out and be quote unquote correct enough and do

01:04:25   the thing because if you try and do things to Grey's level when you're beginning, you're

01:04:29   never going to get started.

01:04:31   You just won't.

01:04:32   But you don't need to.

01:04:34   This is the thing that happens when you reach that point.

01:04:38   I just feel like that's the thing that if I'm thinking, this is a very meta, like we're

01:04:43   like 17 levels deep into this at this moment.

01:04:47   of like, if I'm thinking about like, who listens to the show or who we expect

01:04:52   listens to the show, what are they going to take away from this?

01:04:54   I wouldn't want people to be like, Oh man, I'm never going to finish this

01:04:58   video if that's what I have to do.

01:05:00   I also think part of the value is also just understanding what

01:05:06   may be coming down the line.

01:05:08   This is one of these cases where I had this at the start of my career from

01:05:14   knowing like, "Oh, what is it like to actually be a famous person?"

01:05:18   And you go, "Oh, there's lots of things about that that are

01:05:22   really terrible that people who are famous

01:05:26   will not talk about in public for these sorts of reasons, they just know they'll

01:05:30   get terrible feedback about like, "Oh, listen to you complaining about your

01:05:34   amazing life." - I feel like that has turned a little bit in the last few

01:05:38   years, or like a little, like at least just I

01:05:42   I think that seeing the beginning of a change,

01:05:45   and I think sport is especially a place

01:05:47   where it's coming out, like mental health in sport,

01:05:50   I think is really starting to see a crest here.

01:05:53   This has been happening quite a bit in tennis, especially,

01:05:56   in the last maybe year or two.

01:05:59   There's been a couple of very famous tennis players

01:06:01   who have been talking about their mental health issues

01:06:04   and how it's affecting them on the court.

01:06:06   You know, I'm a big F1 fan,

01:06:08   and it's happening there a little bit more now too,

01:06:11   of people being open with the fact that

01:06:14   it can be really hard to do what they do

01:06:17   in a way that still a lot of people reject

01:06:21   and they're just like,

01:06:21   "Just shut up and play the sport," kind of thing.

01:06:24   But where I see that there is more understanding

01:06:28   from younger people,

01:06:30   just in general,

01:06:32   the degeneration below us is much more in tune

01:06:36   with mental health as a thing,

01:06:38   which I think is really good.

01:06:40   But I think it's allowing for some people in the public eye

01:06:45   to start actively talking about what it is like

01:06:49   and for that to be accepted more.

01:06:51   I feel like we're still a long way away, I think,

01:06:54   from a celebrity being able to openly talk about

01:06:57   how their life can be hard because they're a celebrity,

01:07:00   because I think there is just this natural thinking of like,

01:07:03   you are rich and famous, what more could you want?

01:07:07   - Yeah. - Right?

01:07:08   Yeah, I filed that example under the like quote unacceptable in quotes thing that is

01:07:14   acceptable actually to talk about.

01:07:17   I mean the sorts of things that people will just not talk about in public.

01:07:21   Oh I know, but my point more is there will always be that way because that's just people,

01:07:27   right?

01:07:28   There will always be stuff that you say behind closed doors kind of thing.

01:07:31   But it's more that I think that there is starting to become more of an acceptable change for

01:07:36   people to say stuff because a period of time ago that was unacceptable to say that my life

01:07:44   as a celebrity can be hard because of my fame right like I feel like that is a thing that

01:07:50   was unacceptable to say so my point is just it is changing the mental health part of it

01:07:55   is becoming more acceptable to suffer with and talk about right rather than like hey

01:08:01   I have these problems I feel I can't talk to anyone about them or speak about them in

01:08:05   open at all. But yeah, of course there will always be difficulties and things that people

01:08:10   will go through that they won't talk about in public. That's just life.

01:08:13   Yeah, just in case people are desperately wanting to know like what the kind of stuff

01:08:18   is that I'm talking about, I'll just mention that Tim Ferriss actually has a really interesting

01:08:22   article about being famous. I know you're gonna hate it, but he's like, he's the example

01:08:29   of what are the kinds of things that people just don't want to talk about, right? So I

01:08:35   I hate doing this kind of thing where it's like, you're not saying things in front of the audience,

01:08:40   then it leads people to wonder.

01:08:41   Is the article "11 Reasons Not to Become Famous"?

01:08:44   I don't know what the title of the article is off the top of my head.

01:08:46   I mean, it probably is.

01:08:49   The fact that it's a listicle is just like my god.

01:08:52   Well, I mean, look, you've got to optimize for SEO, right?

01:08:58   Anyway, like, I did not intend to really get off on this major tangent because it's funny,

01:09:03   Like I actually picked this topic precisely because it has the fewest

01:09:08   number of these sorts of problems.

01:09:10   Yeah.

01:09:10   The numbering system for the interstate is, I don't know, as close to math as

01:09:18   the topic can get where it's like, yeah, this was just a plan that some people

01:09:21   made and here, let me explain what the plan is and it has the smallest number

01:09:27   of places where this can go wrong.

01:09:29   Whereas, one of the videos I've been working on for a very long time now,

01:09:34   that I just don't know if it will ever see the light of day, is a

01:09:39   video that is related to history.

01:09:41   And it's just one of those videos where it's really dispiriting because

01:09:48   every part you dig into, you can go, "Oh, but is that true?

01:09:54   What is the actual source for this?

01:09:57   how do we know that this is the case?" And it's like, I really like what this video

01:10:02   could be, but it has been now years in the works and just constantly runs up against

01:10:09   this "oh, what is true" problem. "Oh, also, I'm not an expert in this period of

01:10:16   history." And so now, let me tell you, if there's something that experts can disagree

01:10:21   on, it's history. And then like, okay, I've got to try to make a call about what is the

01:10:26   reasonable way to describe this or what are the parts to skip over and then you also just

01:10:31   have the like everybody always wants you to talk about everything issue as well which

01:10:35   is it is a funny thing with this video on the interstate stuff because here's another

01:10:40   example of this reverse problem where lots of people left comments where they're like

01:10:45   oh but you should have talked about how the mile markers work that the mile markers are

01:10:50   showing you like how far along on the highway you are and all of this kind of stuff it's

01:10:55   like, is it I understand that you want me to talk about the mile markers, but actually they're

01:11:00   different in every single state. And so the like, oh, you left out this interesting piece of

01:11:05   information comments are missing. Yeah, but it doesn't actually work consistently everywhere.

01:11:12   So this idea that you have of the mile markers are useful as a navigational guide. It's like,

01:11:17   I didn't talk about that, because it's not true. And they frequently change just at the state

01:11:22   borders. So it's just even on a relatively straightforward topic there's just an endless

01:11:27   amount of stuff like this and it is also why like on publication day it's always a huge relief but

01:11:34   there's always this feeling of like oh god I hope I just didn't mess up something real bad that I

01:11:40   didn't even know about and you never know until it goes out.